A legal battle that prevented New York from granting marijuana sales licenses in parts of the state could hurt small farms that have just harvested their first cannabis crops, officials warned judges on Tuesday.
New York State issued its first 36 licenses for dispensing pharmacies on Monday. Dispensaries will be the only places in the state where recreational marijuana is legally sold.
But the state had to delay plans to approve more dispensaries due to legal battles over licensing standards.
After a company owned by a Michigan resident challenged the requirement that an applicant demonstrate a “significant presence in New York,” Judge Gary Sharpe of the U.S. District Court in Albany ruled that the states are Brooklyn and New York. It prevented the issuance of licenses in the northern swaths.
In a court filing Tuesday, the state told judges to loosen its injunction to prevent endangering an estimated $1.5 billion worth of marijuana harvests, now waiting to be distributed to retailers. There is
“If farmers who are already licensed to grow lose a place to sell their crops, they will lose millions of dollars they have collectively invested in their business, and some may lose their business, or else Either watch their crops rot and expire, or sell them on illegal markets,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Amanda Curuck.
Court filings prepared on behalf of the state’s Cannabis Administration found that Variscite NY One, a company contesting exclusion from the applicant pool, was only considered for dispensaries in the state’s central Finger Lakes area. This indicates that the
Blocking the state from approving licenses in four other areas, including Central and West New York, Central Hudson and Brooklyn, would “do more harm than necessary,” the state argued.
It was unclear when Sharp would rule the request.
Christian Kernkamp, an attorney representing Variscite, said in an emailed statement that the company wanted to resolve the case before it blocked the sale of marijuana, but the state refused to settle. .
“While the injunction may end tomorrow, the state has instead filed a lawsuit, even though the court has already found a ‘clear possibility’ that the state has violated Variscite’s constitutional rights. I want to wake up,” he said.
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